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The #1 Best Alcoholic Beverage To Drink, Says Dietitian

We got an expert's recommendation.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

What's your alcoholic beverage of choice? Beer, whiskey, mezcal, hard seltzer, the list of options goes on and on. However, when it comes to the healthiest type of alcohol, do your top picks make the cut?

Alcohol often gets a bad reputation, however, some varieties aren't nearly as caloric as others. For example, a 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor may contain about 100 calories whereas one bottle of a thick beer such as a stout can cost anywhere between 150 and 225 calories per bottle. (The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now)

Sydney Lappe, RD for bistroMD says when it comes to choosing the alcoholic beverage that's best for you, both moderation and simplicity are key.

"For instance, a 5-ounce glass of natural red wine contains about 120 calories while being rich in antioxidants and other plant compounds that offer numerous health benefits," she says.

red wine being poured from bottle into glass

Both red and white wine has about the same calories, with a five-ounce glass clocking in around 125 and 120 calories, respectively, per the USDA. However, as Lappe mentions, red wine usually offers a bit more vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds such as tannins and resveratrol.

Sweet or dessert wines are a whole different ball game, though. As Wine Spectator points out, if a wine is described as dry, that indicates that there are less than 10 grams per liter of residual sugar. A dessert wine on the other hand usually packs more than 30 grams per liter (think Moscato or Port).

Dry table wine typically contains between 1 to 2 grams of sugar per 5-ounce serving, whereas a sweet one may contain 8 grams of sugar per 3.5-ounce pour. Of course, the sugar content you may find in mixers and other sodas can be significantly greater.

"When drinking alcohol, try to avoid cocktail mixers, juices, and sodas laden in added sugars and calories," says Lappe. "To elevate liquor without increasing calories, add a squirt of fresh lemon or lime juice and top with sparkling water or use any non-calorie mixer."

For more, be sure to check out One Surprising Side Effect of Drinking Red Wine for Women, Says New Study.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne
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